Strawberry Pretzel Pie
Strawberry Pretzel Pie

Inspired by an American classic, this cake celebrates ripe strawberries with a salty pretzel crumb crust and a tangy whipped cheese topping.

A childhood favorite – grown up.

We all have dishes from our childhood that we look back on fondly – sometimes to the amazement of those around us. To me, this dish is a Jell-O salad. For the uninitiated, Jell-O salads are an American classic. Flavored gelatin is mixed with everything from canned fruit to frozen peas, whipped cream to cottage cheese, and roasted nuts to pretzels. The final mix is ​​poured into elaborate molds or layered into bars and served as a main course, side dish or, of course, dessert at family gatherings, holiday celebrations and summer picnics.

For this cake, I wanted to keep the spirit of the strawberry pretzel salad but replace the artificial strawberry flavor with juicy spring strawberries. The end result is a buttery and salty pretzel crumb crust filled with cooked and fresh strawberries and topped with a fluffy whipped cream cheese topping. Strawberry Pretzel Salad: all grown up.

A feast of strawberries

Strawberries are one of those fruits that I wait for all year round. With a short growing window in late spring and early summer, I plan most of my spring baking to celebrate this favorite fruit.

Since fresh spring strawberries are incredibly flavorful and juicy on their own, I like to have as many fresh berries in my cake as possible. For the filling, a small amount of the berries is mashed and quickly cooked with a little cornstarch until thickened into a jam that can hold everything together, before folding in heaps of chopped fresh berries.

I like to let the flavor of the fresh strawberries shine, so keep the spices simple: sugar, lemon, and some orange zest. That being said, each batch of berries is a little different, so I recommend tasting and adjusting your jam as you cook to balance the sweetness of your specific berries.

Whipped cream cheese makes this topping extra special

Rather than layering sweetened cream cheese into my pie (like the original salad inspiration is done), I prefer to add a light and flavorful whipped cream cheese topping.

The topping is easy to prepare and has the advantage that it is more stable than classic whipped cream.

A few things to keep in mind when preparing your whipped topping:

  • Use room temperature cream cheese: Similar to butter, cream cheese is better aerated as it softens at room temperature, resulting in a smoother and lighter topping.
  • Use chilled cream: Conversely, cream puffs up more easily when it’s cold. Store your cream in the refrigerator until ready to whip.
  • Slow down: Once you’ve added the cream, make sure to turn the speed on your mixer to low and watch what’s going on. It’s easy to overturn when using an electric mixer.

Know your peaks: We use the word “peaks” to describe how thick a mixture is when whipped. For this topping, I like to whip up to a stiff peak — meaning it fully retains its shape when I lift my whisk out of the bowl.

Save the strawberry pretzel cake

This cake is best served immediately after assembly, but will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 day – after which time the crust will become a little soggy.

If you’re making ahead, I recommend storing the whipped topping in a separate airtight container and tipping it onto the cake just before serving.

More strawberry desserts for this spring

  • fresh strawberry cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Old fashioned strawberry cake
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  • Strawberry Mascarpone Tart

Strawberry Pretzel Cake

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
25 minutes

rest time
2 hours

total time
2 hrs 45 mins

up to 10 servings

1 (9 inch) pie


For the pretzel base

  • 1 cup (115G) pretzel crumbs (from approx Mini Pretzels)

  • 1/4 cup (50G) granulated sugar

  • 6 tablespoon unsalted buttermelted

For the strawberry filling

  • 2 lb strawberriespeeled and quartered, divided

  • 4 tablespoons (50G) granulated sugarplus more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons (30G) cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon Freshly squeezed lemon juiceplus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoon water

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 teaspoon Finely grated Orange peel

For the whipped cream and cheese topping

  • 4 oz (113G) Full fat cream cheeseroom temperature

  • 1/3 cup (40G) powdered sugar

  • 1 Cup cold heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • prize from Salt

For garnish

  • crushed Mini Pretzels


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Prepare the pretzel crust:

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix it with a spoon until thoroughly combined – it should look like wet sand and clump together when you squeeze it between your fingers.

  3. Press the crust into the cake pan:

    Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch cake pan and spread in an even layer. Use a small measuring cup or flat-bottomed drinking glass to press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

  4. Bake and cool the crust:

    Bake the crust for 18 to 20 minutes until slightly darkened and smelling of toasting. Transfer the pie pan to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool completely.

  5. Prepare strawberry filling:

    In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of the quartered strawberries and 4 tablespoons of the sugar. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries at the bottom of the pan to release their juice. Add cornstarch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, water, salt, and orange zest.

    Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, using a spoon to break the strawberries apart further against the edge of the pan until cooked. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice if needed (careful, it gets hot). Continue cooking, stirring regularly, for 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid has thickened slightly.

    Remove from the heat and allow the strawberry filling to cool for 5 minutes, then gently fold in the remaining chopped strawberries.

  6. Assemble the cake:

    Pour the strawberry filling into the cooled pie crust and spread it out in an even layer with a spatula.

    Let the filling cool completely, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

  7. Prepare the whipped cream and cheese topping:

    In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

    Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in the heavy cream, followed by the vanilla and salt. Beat until the mixture thickens and forms stiff peaks (it will stand up on its own when you remove the whisk).

  8. Top the cake:

    When ready to serve, spoon the heavy cream into the center of the cake. Use a spoon or small spatula to spread and toss the topping evenly over the pie, leaving a 1-inch margin around the edge (so you can see some of the strawberry filling).

    Scatter shredded pretzels over the whipped cream and cheese topping.

  9. Surcharge:

    Slice and serve immediately.

    This cake is best served immediately after assembly, but will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 day – after which time the crust will become a little soggy.

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nutritional information (per serving)
356 calories
20g Fat
42g carbohydrates
4g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!